There is a special Assessment and Referral An independent body that hears legal claims brought by parties and decides between them. Serious cases are heard by a judge and jury, or just a judge. Less-serious cases are heard by a magistrate. List (ARC List) at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court to deal with defendants with mental health, intellectual or other disabilities who satisfy certain criteria, including diagnostic, functional and need criteria (s 4T Magistrates’ Court A written law made by parliament. Also called an ‘Act of parliament’, ‘statute’ or legislation. 1989 (Vic) (‘MC Act’)).
Magistrates sitting in the ARC List have various powers to deal with such defendants, including adjourning the The time and place at which a court or tribunal hears the parties argue their case and makes a decision. for the preparation of an individual support plan (s 4U MC Act). Magistrates can also (1) To fulfil an obligation or be released from an obligation. For example, a debtor can discharge a debt by paying it; a prisoner can be discharged (released) from jail. a A person who has been charged with a criminal offence or against whom a civil action has been brought. without a finding of guilt if the defendant completes an individual support plan (s 4Y MC Act). Pleas of ‘not guilty’ are to be transferred out of the ARC List to a contested hearing in the court (s 4X MC Act).
For more information about the ARC List, see www.mcv.vic.gov.au/about-us/assessment-and-referral-court-arc, and ‘Assessment and Referral Court’ in Chapter 8.3: Disability and criminal justice.